On Tuesday, the Kerala High Court dismissed a petition seeking the removal of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photograph from COVID-19 vaccination certificates, fining the petitioner Rs 1 lakh and labelling the petition “frivolous,” “politically motivated,” and a “publicity interest litigation.” Justice P V Kunhikrishnan ordered Peter Myaliparampil, the petitioner, to deposit the fee in the name of the Kerala State Legal Services Authority within six weeks.
If the cost is not deposited within the specified time frame, the court stated that KeLSA will recover the money from his assets by filing revenue recovery actions against him. The fee was imposed, according to the court, to inform citizens and society that frivolous requests like these, which waste judicial time, would not be heard. The petitioner’s “frivolous contentions” about the PM’s portrait and his “morale-boosting remark” on the vaccination certificate, according to the court, were “unexpected from a citizen of the country.”
It went on to say that with hundreds of criminal appeals, bail pleas, civil actions, and marital cases pending in the courts, frivolous petitions like the current one waste judicial time. The court had previously noted what was wrong with Covid-19 immunization certificates bearing the Prime Minister’s image when he was elected Prime Minister by the people of the country. Furthermore, the court stated that while they may not be proud of their Prime Ministers, the others are. It went on to say that he was elected by popular vote.
The petitioner claimed that the certificate was a private area with personal record information, and that trespassing into an individual’s privacy was therefore unacceptable. He claimed that including the Prime Minister’s photo on the certificate violated an individual’s privacy. In his case, the petitioner, a senior citizen, claimed that the portrait of the Prime Minister on his immunisation certificate violated his fundamental rights.